New Cowes contest for Etchells fleet

Friday, January 24, 2014



AN INTERNATIONAL Etchells race featuring sailors from across the world will come to the IW this year, just days before Cowes Week.

The inaugural Invitational Cup will take place between July 26 and 31.

Sixteen countries have already confirmed their places, including Germany, USA, New Zealand, France, Canada and Singapore.

The winners will receive the Gertrude Cup, which has been donated by the Royal Thames Yacht Club.

The week of racing has been organised by David Franks — Cowes resident and Etchells fleet captain — and was announced at a Royal Corinthian Yacht Club meeting last Friday.

During the meeting, Mr Franks said: "I see this as annual event, which will become profitable after a few years."

He said the event would only be successful if people came together and backed the event.

A Red Funnel representative said the company would be willing to help and was open to talks.

The meeting had been called by the Cowes Business Association, after the Etchells Class’s decision to hold their 2016 World Championships at Weymouth.

Mr Franks said while Cowes was much more attractive, had better restaurants and a more enjoyable ambience, Weymouth offered a single price per boat.

He explained that, until Cowes offered this — rather than individual costs for craning, accommodation, race costs and other miscellaneous parts — it could not hope to recover the event.

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